[Comp-neuro] Open Post Doc Position on Bayesian Computational Modelling for multimodal social interaction

Dimitri Ognibene dimitri.ognibene at gmail.com
Fri Dec 14 17:02:17 CET 2018

[Apologies for cross-posting] 

Dear Colleagues,

I would be grateful if you could help me spreading the word about this position in the Essex Brain-Computer Interface and Neural Engineering (BCI-NE) Laboratory that I recently joined.

Thank you very much,

We are looking for a Post Doctoral Research Associate to collaborate at the development of Bayesian (DCM and Active Inference) computational models of multimodal social interaction taking into account the role of human chemosignals perception. This will involve also the development of robust algorithms for signal processing, statistical inference and extraction of information from EEG and other physiological signals, as well as the design and implementation of software for the execution of experiments with adaptive VR stimulation.

Application closing date 02/01/2019

Application Links

https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BOO174/senior-research-officer <https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BOO174/senior-research-officer>
https://vacancies.essex.ac.uk/tlive_webrecruitment/wrd/run/ETREC107GF.open?VACANCY_ID=271640IULU&WVID=9918109NEm&LANG=USA <https://vacancies.essex.ac.uk/tlive_webrecruitment/wrd/run/ETREC107GF.open?VACANCY_ID=271640IULU&WVID=9918109NEm&LANG=USA>

Job reference REQ02121

Job Details

The School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, the Department of Psychology, and the Essex Brain-Computer Interfaces and Neural Engineering Lab are pleased to announce this postdoctoral position in the Horizon 2020 project "POTION: Promoting social interaction through emotional body odours”. The project will last five years and start in January 2019 and includes partners from the Universities of Pisa (Italy), Padova (Italy), and Essex (UK), the Universitat Politecnica De Valencia (Spain), the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), and the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), and three companies ISPA CRL (Portougal), SRA Instruments (France) and Feel-Ing s.r.l. (Italy). POTION proposes a novel technological paradigm to delve deeper into understanding meaningful social interaction, combining new knowledge about the chemical composition of human social chemosignals together with a novel olfactory-based technology designed to drive social behaviour.
Duties of the Role
The Essex team's work on the project focuses on the development of Bayesian (DCM and Active Inference) computational models of multimodal social interaction. This models will be applied to evaluate socially relevant variables, such as trust, presence and inclusion as well as to generate optimal stimuli in artificially mediated social interactions. In particular, the models will cover the role of human chemosignal perception in social interactions. The models will be identified and tested using neurophysiological data (e.g. EEG), peripheral physiological activation (i.e., ECG, RESP, EDA) and behavioural changes (i.e., f-EMG) collected using VR scenarios of increasing complexity.
The successful applicant will research and develop Bayesian (DCM and Active Inference) computational models of multimodal social interaction with an emphasis on the role of human chemosignals. They will also develop robust algorithms for signal processing, statistical inference and extraction of information from EEG and other physiological signals, design and implement software for the execution of experiments with VR stimulation, and contribute to the reporting and dissemination of the project.
Skills and qualifications required
Applicants are expected to hold a PhD (or be close to completion) in Computational Neuroscience, Brain-computer Interfaces, Neural Engineering, Psychology, Machine Learning, Statistics, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science or a closely related discipline, or equivalent professional experience or practice. The ideal candidate will have significant experience in computational modelling of social interaction, signal processing, statistical modelling of neural signals and processes, brain-computer interfaces, and virtual reality interfaces. Applicants are also expected to have a strong publication record (relative to their career stage) as first author, ideally including publications in 1st quartile journals in relevant areas.
We strongly encourage women to apply as they are currently under-represented in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering. 

At the University of Essex internationalism is central to who we are and what we do. We are committed to being a cosmopolitan, internationally-oriented university that is welcoming to staff and students from all countries and a university where you can find the world in one place.

Who we are

University of Essex has just been awarded the prestigious title of  "University of the Year" by the Times Higher Education for "transforming the lives of a growing student body” and " putting  both staff and students first"

The School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (CSEE) at the University of Essex has an outstanding reputation for teaching and high-quality research in artificial intelligence, biomedical engineering, brain-computer interfaces, computer games, evolutionary computation, human language technology, robotics, networks and optoelectronics. Particularly relevant to this application is our research in artificial intelligence and in life and medical sciences applications, which was judged as world-leading in the recent Research Excellence Framework, the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. An important centre spanning both areas is the Essex Brain-Computer Interface and Neural Engineering (BCI-NE) Laboratory. The BCI lab was founded in 2004 by Dr Citi among others, and is one of the largest and best equipped in Europe. For over a decade, it has produced highly visible internationally leading research, with international collaborators at MIT, Berkley, the European Space Agency, and many others. Our members have led high-profile externally funded projects in the area of Assisted Living Technologies. Since 2007 our research has featured prominently in the UK’s Department of Health’s annual report on research and development work relating to assistive technology, e.g. see the 2012 report, which was presented to parliament.
The successful applicant will work in collaboration with the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex. This department was ranked 13th out of more than 100 in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014 <http://www.essex.ac.uk/research/ref>), with 90% of our research rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. Academic staff in the department have wide-ranging and world-leading expertise in vision, cognition, cognitive neuroscience, health and social psychology. Students and staff make use of facilities in the Centre for Brain Science, a purpose-built facility dedicated to research and with considerable resources for understanding brain and behaviour.

The research facilities are located on our Colchester Campus, which  is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland <https://www.essex.ac.uk/about/wivenhoe-park>, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester <https://www.essex.ac.uk/life/colchester-campus/local-area> – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour. Home to over 13,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place. Colchester has a relatively low cost of living, while being well connected to London, the coast, and areas of natural beauty in East Anglia.
Please see the link below for a full job description and person specification which outlines the full duties, skills, qualifications and experience needed for this role plus more information relating to the post. We recommend you read this information carefully before making an application.  Applications should be made on-line, but if you would like advice or help in making an application, or need information in a different format, please telephone the Resourcing Team (+44 1206 876559 <tel:+44%201206%20876559>). 
Feel free to  contact us (Dr Citi, (CSEE) lciti at essex.ac.uk <mailto:vishwanathan.mohan at essex.ac.uk> (PI), Dr Ognibene (CSEE) dimitri.ognibene at essex.ac.uk <mailto:dimitri.ognibene at essex.ac.uk>, Dr Foulsham (PSYCH)  foulsham at essex.ac.uk) for an informal discussion about this post.

Job reference REQ02121

Application closing date02/01/2019

Application Links

https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BOO174/senior-research-officer <https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BOO174/senior-research-officer>
https://vacancies.essex.ac.uk/tlive_webrecruitment/wrd/run/ETREC107GF.open?VACANCY_ID=271640IULU&WVID=9918109NEm&LANG=USA <https://vacancies.essex.ac.uk/tlive_webrecruitment/wrd/run/ETREC107GF.open?VACANCY_ID=271640IULU&WVID=9918109NEm&LANG=USA>
Dimitri Ognibene, PhD
Lecturer in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
Department of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex, UK

Skype: dimitri.ognibene

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